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Title:Evaluation of a cool pad for thermoregulation in sows
Author(s):Santana Nieves, Carmen S.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Harrison, Paul C.
Department / Program:Animal Sciences
Discipline:Animal Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Biology, Animal Physiology
Agriculture, Animal Culture and Nutrition
Abstract:A series of five different studies were conducted to evaluate the use of a cool pad as a thermoregulatory device for alleviating heat stress in farrowing and open sows. Different physiological and behavioral variables were analyzed during exposure of the animals to acute or long term heat stress in these studies. The physiological variables measured included: respiration rate (RR), rectal temperature (Tr), skin temperature (Ts), milk production of the sow at 14 and 21 days, heat loss of the sows through the cool pad during acute heat stress exposure and litter size and weight at birth and at weaning. The behavioral variables analyzed included learning time for using a cool pad, preference for the use of a cool pad as a thermoregulatory device and pad use at different air temperatures.
Even though the physiological responses measured showed some contradictory results, the presence of a cool pad did improve conductive heat losses, and in some cases did reduce respiration rate and rectal temperature during heat stress. These effects were observed in animals during short term heat stress exposure. Longer heat stress exposure might produce acclimation, obscuring the possible effects of using the cool pad. Analysis of the behavioral data indicates that some animals learned to use the cool pad in less than a day and some of them used it as a thermoregulatory device, indicating that the presence of the pad was easily detectable by some of these animals. An increase in pad use was also observed as air temperatures were increased from 21 to 33C, again suggesting a behavioral thermoregulatory use of the cool pad.
We conclude that the use of a cool pad at the size used in this study might provide some benefit during heat stress in sows as indicated by the physiological and behavioral data collected in this series of studies. However, because the results were not always consistent across the different experiments, further research including evaluation of a larger pad is suggested before using this cooling device in the production system.
Issue Date:1993
Rights Information:Copyright 1993 Santana Nieves, Carmen S.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9411774
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9411774

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